Chariot – PAX Prime 2014 Impressions

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Chariot is a gorgeous looking offline co-op game that follows the story of a princess and her fiancé dragging her deceased father around in search of a proper burial site. Now while the premise sounds dark, the game is bright, colorful, and full of fun. The art style and level design is top notch as you are treated to vivid colors and from the background that accompany the cutesy character design wonderfully.

As I walked up to the Chariot booth at PAX Prime 2014 I observed a pair of attendees struggling with the game. They were trying to solve some platforming puzzles while getting their heads around the game, mainly the physics. As I watched them play for a couple minutes they soon figured out the game’s mechanics and realized that communication was needed. Within minutes they were getting into a flow moving through the level in the game in a rapid fashion. Then it was my turn and unfortunately I was flying solo to the appointment and needed to grab a random person to play along with me. This is always nerve wrecking because they might suck at the game or, more likely, I would. Luckily though, once the controller is in your hands and you mess with game for a couple seconds you get the hang of the mechanics relatively fast.

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Chariot’s gameplay mechanics revolve around the princess and her significant other dragging a chariot (holding her father’s body) around using ropes. The game is a platformer and somewhat of a puzzle game since the player needs to figure out how to move through the level with a large chariot being held only by a rope. Each player attaches their rope to the chariot with the hit of a button and they drag and pull it around. The key to success is figuring out how much slack is needed and how to use the chariot to jump from platform to platform in order to get the players to their destination. The chariot itself has physics that can force the player to change their plans when it becomes about balancing the weight of the structure and determining the proper leverage needed to pull it up or swing it in order to get one of the characters to a specific point. The physics are a good balance between realistic and cartoony and once they are learned become an important tool to use when tackling a problem.

The levels in the game are pretty big and with branching paths with varying degrees of difficulty with more difficult areas having more gold and jewels to collect. The game does have enemies that steal the player’s loot and can be battled with as the characters are equipped with a sword and slingshot. It is not recommended to do so though since the enemies mostly just focus on getting the loot so the more you deal with them the more likely you are to lose your stuff and collecting as much loot as possible is a big part of the game.

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Chariot pulled me in with its gorgeous art style and premise and having spent some time playing the game I am looking forward to sitting down on a couch and going through the game with another person messing with the physics of the chariot and collecting as much loot as possible. For those not into playing with other people, the game does feature the option to play single player in which the player can switch between the two characters though I did not see that in action.

The game is meant to be enjoyed with another person on the couch as it requires teamwork and with the sudden flood of offline multiplayer games it was refreshing to see an offline multiplayer game that was not a competitive one.

Chariot will be out later this year for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Written by Michael Cwick

Michael Cwick

Just a nerd from the Windy City. I’m actually really bad at describing myself because I get all self-critical and self-conscious. Follow me on Twitter, @The1stMJC, to see my borderline insane rants on tv shows and other non important subjects. If I’m not tweeting I’m probably just watching Buffy or Firefly for the millionth time.

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